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Knot


1. Unit of speed equal to one nautical mile (6,080.20 ft.) per hour. One statute mile equals .868 nautical mile, or one nautical mile equals 1.15 statute miles. In the days of sail, speed was measured by tossing a log overboard which was secured by a line to the vessel. Knots were tied into the line at approximately six feet intervals (the breadth of a man's arm span). As the vessel sailed on, the number of knots passing over the side in a measured period of time were counted and thus became the measure of ship's speed.

2. A fastening made by interweaving rope to form a stopper, to enclose or bind an object, to form a loop or a noose, to tie a small rope to an object, or to tie the ends of two small ropes together.

3. That portion of a branch or limb which has been surrounded by subsequent growth of the wood of the trunk or other portion of the tree. As a knot appears on the sawed surface, it is merely a section of the entire knot, its shape depending upon the direction of the cut.

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